66 Facts About Buddha


Gautama Buddha was an ascetic and spiritual teacher of South Asia who lived during the 6th or 5th century BCE.

FactSnippet No. 405,750

The Buddha thereafter wandered through the lower Gangetic plain, teaching and building a monastic order.

FactSnippet No. 405,751

Buddha taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and severe asceticism, a training of the mind that included ethical training and meditative practices such as effort, mindfulness, and jhana.

FactSnippet No. 405,752

The Buddha has since been venerated by numerous religions and communities across Asia.

FactSnippet No. 405,753

Pali Canon contains numerous other titles and epithets for the Buddha, including: All-seeing, All-transcending sage, Bull among men, The Caravan leader, Dispeller of darkness, The Eye, Foremost of charioteers, Foremost of those who can cross, King of the Dharma, Kinsman of the Sun, Helper of the World (Lokanatha), Lion (Siha), Lord of the Dhamma, Of excellent wisdom (Varapanna), Radiant One, Torchbearer of mankind, Unsurpassed doctor and surgeon, Victor in battle, and Wielder of power.

FactSnippet No. 405,754

Indeed, according to the Buddhist tradition, following the Nidanakatha, the introductory to the Jataka tales, the stories of the former lives of the Buddha, Gautama was born in Lumbini.

FactSnippet No. 405,755

Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential sramana schools of thought like Ajivika, Carvaka, Jainism, and Ajnana.

FactSnippet No. 405,756

Indeed, Sariputra and Moggallana, two of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, were formerly the foremost disciples of Sanjaya Belatthaputta, the sceptic; and the Pali canon frequently depicts Buddha engaging in debate with the adherents of rival schools of thought.

FactSnippet No. 405,757

Thus, Buddha was just one of the many sramana philosophers of that time.

FactSnippet No. 405,758

The Dharmaguptaka biography of the Buddha is the most exhaustive, and is entitled the Abhiniskramana Sutra, and various Chinese translations of this date between the 3rd and 6th century CE.

FactSnippet No. 405,759

The earliest Buddhist sources state that the Buddha was born to an aristocratic Kshatriya family called Gotama (Sanskrit: Gautama), who were part of the Shakyas, a tribe of rice-farmers living near the modern border of India and Nepal.

FactSnippet No. 405,760

Buddha's father Suddhodana was "an elected chief of the Shakya clan", whose capital was Kapilavastu, and who were later annexed by the growing Kingdom of Kosala during the Buddha's lifetime.

FactSnippet No. 405,761

Day of the Buddha's birth is widely celebrated in Theravada countries as Vesak.

FactSnippet No. 405,762

Buddha's Birthday is called Buddha Purnima in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India as he is believed to have been born on a full moon day.

FactSnippet No. 405,763

Kondanna, the youngest, and later to be the first arhat other than the Buddha, was reputed to be the only one who unequivocally predicted that Siddhartha would become a Buddha.

FactSnippet No. 405,764

Buddha traveled to the river Anomiya, and cut off his hair.

FactSnippet No. 405,765

The title indicates that unlike most people who are "asleep", a Buddha is understood as having "woken up" to the true nature of reality and sees the world 'as it is'.

FactSnippet No. 405,766

However the Buddha is unfazed and calls on the earth as witness to his superiority by touching the ground before entering meditation.

FactSnippet No. 405,767

The Buddha proclaimed that he had achieved full awakening, but Upaka was not convinced and "took a different path".

FactSnippet No. 405,768

MN 26 and MA 204 continue with the Buddha reaching the Deer Park (Mrigadava, called Rishipatana, "site where the ashes of the ascetics fell") near Varanasi, where he met the group of five ascetics and was able to convince them that he had indeed reached full awakening.

FactSnippet No. 405,769

The Buddha then continued to teach the other ascetics and they formed the first : the company of Buddhist monks.

FactSnippet No. 405,770

Various sources such as the Mahavastu, the Mahakhandhaka of the Theravada Vinaya and the Catusparisat-sutra mention that the Buddha taught them his second discourse, about the characteristic of "not-self", at this time or five days later.

FactSnippet No. 405,771

Buddha's sangha enjoyed the patronage of the kings of Kosala and Magadha and he thus spent a lot of time in their respective capitals, Savatthi and Rajagaha.

FactSnippet No. 405,772

Buddha's sangha continued to grow during his initial travels in north India.

FactSnippet No. 405,773

Buddha is said to have gifted Jeta's grove to the sangha at great expense (the Theravada Vinaya speaks of thousands of gold coins).

FactSnippet No. 405,774

The Buddha is eventually convinced by Ananda to grant ordination to Mahaprajapati on her acceptance of eight conditions called gurudharmas which focus on the relationship between the new order of nuns and the monks.

FactSnippet No. 405,775

Strong, after the first 20 years of his teaching career, the Buddha seems to have slowly settled in Sravasti, the capital of the Kingdom of Kosala, spending most of his later years in this city.

FactSnippet No. 405,776

The Buddha responds by saying that the Vajjikas can be expected to prosper as long as they do seven things, and he then applies these seven principles to the Buddhist Sangha, showing that he is concerned about its future welfare.

FactSnippet No. 405,777

The Buddha says that the Sangha will prosper as long as they "hold regular and frequent assemblies, meet in harmony, do not change the rules of training, honor their superiors who were ordained before them, do not fall prey to worldly desires, remain devoted to forest hermitages, and preserve their personal mindfulness.

FactSnippet No. 405,778

The Mahaparinibbana depicts the Buddha as experiencing illness during the last months of his life but initially recovering.

FactSnippet No. 405,779

Bhikkhu and von Hinuber argue that the Buddha died of mesenteric infarction, a symptom of old age, rather than food poisoning.

FactSnippet No. 405,780

The Theravada tradition generally believes that the Buddha was offered some kind of pork, while the Mahayana tradition believes that the Buddha consumed some sort of truffle or other mushroom.

FactSnippet No. 405,781

Buddha then repeated his final instructions to the sangha, which was that the Dhamma and Vinaya was to be their teacher after his death.

FactSnippet No. 405,782

Buddha then entered his final meditation and died, reaching what is known as parinirvana.

FactSnippet No. 405,783

Buddha's body was then cremated and the remains, including his bones, were kept as relics and they were distributed among various north Indian kingdoms like Magadha, Shakya and Koliya.

FactSnippet No. 405,784

In various texts, the Buddha is depicted as having studied under two named teachers, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta.

FactSnippet No. 405,785

Buddha did not see the Brahmanical rites and practices as useful for spiritual advancement.

FactSnippet No. 405,786

The Buddha contrasted his teachings, which were taught openly to all people, with that of the Brahmins', who kept their mantras secret.

FactSnippet No. 405,787

Buddha critiqued the Brahmins' claims of superior birth and the idea that different castes and bloodlines were inherently pure or impure, noble or ignoble.

FactSnippet No. 405,788

The Buddha's teaching then is a single universal moral law, one Dharma valid for everybody, which is opposed to the Brahmanic ethic founded on "one's own duty" which depends on caste.

FactSnippet No. 405,789

Common presentation of the core structure of Buddha's teaching found in the early texts is that of the Four Noble Truths.

FactSnippet No. 405,790

Buddha's teaching of karma differed to that of the Jains and Brahmins, in that on his view, karma is primarily mental intention.

FactSnippet No. 405,791

The Buddha is reported to have said "By karma I mean intention.

FactSnippet No. 405,792

However, it is important to note that the Buddha did not hold that everything that happens is the result of karma alone.

FactSnippet No. 405,793

In fact when the Buddha was asked to state the causes of pain and pleasure he listed various physical and environmental causes alongside karma.

FactSnippet No. 405,794

The philosopher Mark Siderits has outlined the basic idea of the Buddha's teaching of Dependent Origination of dukkha as follows:.

FactSnippet No. 405,795

Buddha saw his analysis of Dependent Origination as a "Middle Way" between "eternalism" and "annihilationism" (ucchedavada, the idea that we go completely out of existence at death).

FactSnippet No. 405,796

Closely connected to the idea that experience is dependently originated is the Buddha's teaching that there is no independent or permanent self.

FactSnippet No. 405,797

The Buddha instead held that all things in the world of our experience are transient and that there is no unchanging part to a person.

FactSnippet No. 405,798

Buddha compared samsaric existence to a fire, which is dynamic and requires fuel in order to keep burning.

FactSnippet No. 405,799

Buddha saw the belief in a self as arising from our grasping at and identifying with the various changing phenomena, as well as from ignorance about how things really are.

FactSnippet No. 405,800

Furthermore, the Buddha held that we experience suffering because we hold on to erroneous self views.

FactSnippet No. 405,801

Early Buddhist texts depict the Buddha as promoting the life of a homeless and celibate "sramana", or mendicant, as the ideal way of life for the practice of the path.

FactSnippet No. 405,802

Buddha taught that mendicants or "beggars" were supposed to give up all possessions and to own just a begging bowl and three robes.

FactSnippet No. 405,803

Early texts depict the Buddha as giving a deflationary account of the importance of politics to human life.

FactSnippet No. 405,804

Buddha taught them to "hold regular and frequent assemblies", live in harmony and maintain their traditions.

FactSnippet No. 405,805

The Buddha then goes on to promote a similar kind of republican style of government among the Buddhist Sangha, where all monks had equal rights to attend open meetings and there would be no single leader, since The Buddha chose not to appoint one.

FactSnippet No. 405,806

Buddha posits that the Fourth Noble Truths, the Eightfold path and Dependent Origination, which are commonly seen as essential to Buddhism, are later formulations which form part of the explanatory framework of this "liberating insight".

FactSnippet No. 405,807

Digha Nikaya 2 describes how king Ajatashatru is unable to tell which of the monks is the Buddha when approaching the sangha and must ask his minister to point him out.

FactSnippet No. 405,808

Likewise, in MN 140, a mendicant who sees himself as a follower of the Buddha meets the Buddha in person but is unable to recognize him.

FactSnippet No. 405,809

Buddha is described as being handsome and with a clear complexion, at least in his youth.

FactSnippet No. 405,810

Many Hindus claim that Buddha was Hindu and cite a belief that the Buddha is the ninth avatar of Vishnu in support.

FactSnippet No. 405,811

Islamic prophet Dhu al-Kifl has been identified with the Buddha based on Surah 95:1 of the Qur'an, which references a fig tree – a symbol that does not feature prominently in the lives of any of the other prophets mentioned in the Qur'an.

FactSnippet No. 405,812

Buddha is regarded as a prophet by the minority Ahmadiyya sect.

FactSnippet No. 405,813

In Sikhism, Buddha is mentioned as the 23rd avatar of Vishnu in the Chaubis Avtar, a composition in Dasam Granth traditionally and historically attributed to Guru Gobind Singh.

FactSnippet No. 405,814

Iconic representations of the Buddha became particularly popular and widespread after the first century CE.

FactSnippet No. 405,815